Sep/Oct 2018 Current Moscow Time: 20:15:52
24 September 2018


  The world’s biggest country, in a magazine. Since 1956.


Thursday, September 08, 2016

Nomads, salad stampedes, and serious swamp business

by Alice E.M. Underwood

Life is a like an enormous Greek salad

1. What’s left to root for now that the Olympics are over? The new Olympics: ancient nomadic sports, including a version of polo that involves scoring goals with a decapitated goat corpse. The Nomadic Games serve as a reminder of history and traditional culture, and this year’s events in Kyrgyzstan featured Steven Seagal in the opening ceremony, about 1000 athletes from 53 countries, and an extra-large Russian team in honor of the extra-large country – including the winners of the dead goat competition.

2. The latest Russian feat to make the Guinness Book of World Records: a 20.1-ton Greek salad on Red Square. Tomatoes, cucumbers, and pre-cubed cheese were mixed in a giant dump truck in a mid-tipping state. Some newspapers reported that spectators stampeded for salad and devoured the massive creation within minutes. The jury’s still out on whether the mix was a way to get healthy foods to folks facing sanctions or just a Guinness-worthy stunt.

tjournal.ru

3. With the first day back to school last week, citizens of Beslan in North Ossetia commemorated the 2004 hostage crisis, when armed Islamic militants took 1200 people hostage in a school. In a ceremony remembering the siege’s victims, five women in t-shirts with the words “Putin is the executioner of Beslan” were detained. Charged for violating a law against unauthorized protests, the women face fines and up to 15 days in custody.

In Wetter News

  • If you went to the Olympics from Chechnya, a gold medal isn’t enough. The president will also give you a Mercedes SUV.
  • A schoolkid known as the “swamp manager” for his unusual office space has won a trip to Kyrgyzstan, proving again how finding your social media niche can pay off.
kloop.kg
  • When a river turns red in northern Russia, do you blame biblical wrath, filming for Game of Thrones, or the nearby nickel factory?
theguardian.com

Quote of the Week

“It was the U.S.’s first time actually playing using the goat carcass, so the Russian team showed them how to pick it up and put it in the goal [...] It wasn’t just about winning the game, but about sharing the beauty of kok-boru and of nomadic culture.”
—Colleen Wood, an American Peace Corps volunteer, on the emphasis on sportsmanship and building cultural connections to be found in the Nomadic Games.

Want more where this comes from? Give your inbox the gift of TWERF, our Thursday newsletter on the quirkiest, obscurest, and Russianest of Russian happenings of the week.

Olympians, Titans, and cats dressed up as sailors
Olympians, Titans, and cats dressed up as sailors

The Olympics are under way! With them, new moves in Turkish-Russian relations, a Putin-voiced documentary, and the dangerous force of Russiaphobia. Also cats. 

A kick in the face of public taste
A kick in the face of public taste

This week in Russia saw a whole lot of beatdowns: on international corruption, candy stores, and even Buddha. 

Architecture and unexquisite corpses
Architecture and unexquisite corpses

A church’s domes caving into the altar. A transgender couple finagles a wedding. A hospital patient shares a room with a corpse. Just another TWERF.

Chess, Traffic and Briefcases
Chess, Traffic and Briefcases

In The Weekly Russia File for March 31: some terrible chess puns, and how to stop traffic.

Michael Phelps, Russia's swimming champ
Michael Phelps, Russia's swimming champ

The opening of the Kremlin, the mysterious ways of the nooscope, Hare Krishnas, and why Michael Phelps decided to defect to the Russian Olympic team. 

Tractors, smugglers, and the matryoshka from hell
Tractors, smugglers, and the matryoshka from hell

It's a tough week for transport in Russia, with a tractor parade, a smugglers' road, a bear on the loose, and an unwieldy matryoshka to top it all off.

Corruption, Kalashnikovs, and cultured meats
Corruption, Kalashnikovs, and cultured meats

Performance art turned into meaty meals and politicians turned criminals or corpses. Oh, and Vladimir Putin gets arrested. 

Nomads, salad stampedes, and serious swamp business
Nomads, salad stampedes, and serious swamp business

Olympics featuring dead goats, world records with feta cheese, blood-red rivers, and how to set up your business in a pit of slime.